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When your skin is itchy and irritated, resisting the urge to scratch can be as difficult as passing up a good sale. The bad news is that scratching will only irritate your skin, making it redder and more swollen. A remedy for skin itching can come from your kitchen -- not your medicine -- cabinet: oatmeal, which contains skin-soothing ingredients when applied in the correct preparation.
Oatmeal’s Secret Weapon
Oatmeal makes a skin-soothing natural remedy because it contains beta glucan. This source of fiber leaves a thin film of your skin in a good way because this film encourages your skin to retain moisture, keeping it from drying out the way it often does when it's red and irritated.
If you wake up with facial redness, itching and/or irritation, you can have oatmeal for breakfast and oatmeal as an itching reliever. One way to accomplish this is to place a handful of whole oats in a washcloth, then band the washcloth with a rubber band. Dip the washcloth into a sink full of warm water, wringing out the washcloth periodically to let the oatmeal’s soothing properties out. If you splash this water on your face and allow it to air dry, the oatmeal should take away some of your skin itching.
When your skin itching is concentrated in one area, such as a patch of poison ivy irritation on your arm, cooked oatmeal can be just the fix. Look for the steel-cut or Irish oats, which take slightly longer than instant to make, but don’t contain the added sugars and preservatives. You can, however, mix in mashed papaya in with your oatmeal and apply it to your affected area for 10 to 15 minutes to relieve skin itching. The papaya contains a special enzyme known as papain, which helps to break down the proteins that cause skin itching.
Baking Soda and Oatmeal
Skin itching of the all-over-your body variety can be relieved with an oatmeal-and-baking soda bath, much like the ones you used if you had chicken pox as a child. Run a warm bath and add a cup of uncooked oatmeal, mixed with a couple of spoonfuls of baking soda, which helps to further soothe your skin, according to Go Ask Alice!, a health resource from Columbia University.